As the battle with the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many employees are having trouble managing different aspects of their wellbeing. Understanding and handling financial assets have become daunting, contributing to significant stress. The economic downfall, a decline in income, and deterioration of savings have added to the financial wellbeing woes.
Studies show that people who suffer from financial stress are more likely to report poor health and wellbeing. Also, many employees reported their financial health impacted their performance and productivity. Compared to the pre-COVID data, employees reported a decline in their financial health during the pandemic.
In a 2019 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 59% of employees cited financial matters as a primary concern that affected their wellbeing and productivity.
Fortunately, financial wellness programs have been known to assist employees in making better finance-related decisions for a more promising future.
Studies show that employees and employers are both looking forward to seeking financial education from accredited experts. From making the right investment plans to saving for retirement, employers and employees have a win-win by reaping the benefits of a well-implemented financial wellness program.
Here are the 5 key steps to develop and implement a well-designed financial wellness program for your workplace.
Step 1 – Backing from the Management
For any new workplace policy to be implemented and carried out smoothly, it must be backed by the management and senior executives. So, the first step must start with listing the company’s top concerns regarding employee wellbeing and productivity and their impact on the organization’s cost benefits. For example, how employee financial stress affects their engagement, absenteeism, and performance, including the healthcare costs. In short, every company would want their workforce to be financially healthy and organized, reflecting increased productivity and ROI. Explaining how a financial wellness program can educate and help the workforce achieve these goals can very likely get a buy-in from the management.
Step 2 – Find a Third-Party Wellness Program Provider
According to a recent financial wellness survey by Eckler, almost 90% of employees and 84% of employers wanted an unbiased third-party wellness provider or accredited professional. Around 84% of employees and 85% of employers wanted their financial wellness programs to be provided by a reputed and experienced vendor. More than 80% of employers were looking for an accredited third-party financial wellness program vendor. More importantly, they wanted to find someone who has worked with other organizations to provide financial wellbeing programs and has brought in positive results.
Step 3 – Designing and Execution of the Wellbeing Program
An effective wellbeing program must help employees meet their specific requirements. It must be delivered well and should be capable of addressing all the targeted wellbeing needs. For this, employee interests must be identified first, and the stress factors must be emphasized. With so many employees working remotely, employers can organize virtual consultation sessions, webinars, online workshops, and likewise, to educate the workforce about various financial matters. In short, employers can plan the right approach depending on employees’ needs and the wellbeing program’s budget.
Step 4 – An Extensive Communication Plan
Proper communication is the key to the success of any employee wellness program. Unless the workforce is communicated well about the program benefits, modules, and launch, the engagement rates will be poor. The companies, along with their employee wellness program provider, must come up with an extensive communication plan to ensure adequate employee engagement, reflecting high success rates. Apart from communicating about the program launch and details, the senior management and executives must endorse the program benefits. This makes the employees feel supported, creates cordiality, and boosts engagement rates. The communications must reach out to the entire workforce through different modes and at regular intervals to convey the key messages and sustain engagement.
Step 5 – Measuring and Evaluating
Identifying the right metrics that are the cornerstones of the program management is crucial to knowing the effectiveness of the employee wellness program. These metrics must be measured and evaluated to know the impact of the program and its modules. The outcomes of these assessments can be used to improve the financial wellness modules and wellbeing strategies that align with employee wellness and business growth.
The key financial wellness metrics may include –
- Engagement of the EAP services
- Retirement savings and investment plans
- Absenteeism and presenteeism
- Healthcare and disability claims
Most holistic health outcomes are directly proportional to the level of awareness and education. And so, the employee wellness program provider must also design and provide compelling methods to measure your triumph criteria and establish benchmarks to assess the program.
Simply put, financial literacy gives a great opportunity to understand employee wellbeing needs and how employers can support their workforce through it. Despite many working remotely, employers can take adequate measures to support financial wellness at the workplace, especially when most employees need it now.